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Posts Tagged ‘Teaching Activities’

CultureGrams—Teaching Activities: Understanding Election Results

Did you know that CultureGrams offers almost 80 free teaching activities to its subscribers? If you don’t have access to CultureGrams, enjoy this free teaching activity today and sign up for a free trial of the product to access more.

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CultureGrams USA map

Understanding Election Results

Grade level: K–5

Objective: Students will learn about the Electoral College while understanding the numerical basis for election results and
practicing various computations.

Common Core State Standards Initiative: Anchor Standards for Reading: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7. Integrate and evaluate content presented
in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.

Time Requirement
Preparation: 40 minutes
In-class: 2 hours, two different days; less, if some is done as homework

Materials: CultureGrams States Edition

Instructions
1. Begin by handing out a printout of the PDF outline map of the U.S. to each student, along with coloring utensils. Give the students a list of which states voted for Mitt Romney (color red) in the
2012 presidential election and which states voted for Barack Obama (color blue) and have them color in the map accordingly.
2. When the students are done, tell them that the country was split fairly evenly in this election, with 51% of the nation voting for Obama and 47% voting for Romney. Yet, from looking at the amount of red on the election map, they might think that far more people voted for Romney. Talk about how the Electoral College works, explaining that each state gets a number of electoral votes based on its total number of senators and representatives, the latter of which is based on population.
3. Using this formula (senators + representatives = electoral votes), have the students use the information in the Government section of the CultureGrams States Edition to fill in their map with the numbers of electoral votes each state has. Compare the sum of the blue states’ electoral votes and those of the red states. Are they closer than the map makes them appear?
4. Explain to students that, typically, it is thought that states that are home to large urban populations (and are therefore more densely populated) tend to be democrat, while those home to rural populations (and therefore more sparsely populated) tend to be republican. Have students test this assumption using the Create-Your-Own-Table function in the States Edition. Have students create tables that display the population densities (population per sq. mi.) for both red and blue states. Using this data, have them create and compare averages for each group. What do their findings prove?

Questions for further discussion
1. Why might more densely populated states vote democratic, while more sparsely populated ones vote
republican?
2. The Electoral College has come under fire as being out of date and unfair. Do the students agree?
Why or why not?

Extension activity
Provide electoral maps for several past presidential elections. As they compare the maps, they should note which states should be classified as “swing states”; that is, which states alternate between voting for republican and democratic candidates.

CultureGrams Scavenger Hunt

Are you looking for an engaging way to help your students learn about the countries of the world? We just want to remind you that we’ve put together a scavenger hunt that will help them do that, and students will become familiar with some of the content and features available in the CultureGrams World Edition as well. The activity requires students (either individually or in groups) to answer a series of questions on an assigned country by “scavenging” through the product. And in the process, they learn about some of our standard CultureGrams categories, plus features like the Currency Converter, Data Tables, Famous People, Photos, and Recipes.

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CultureGrams World Edition via ProQuest

Most of the questions are factual in nature, but there are critical thinking questions as well. The scavenger hunt can be an activity that you use on its own or it can be a way to teach students how to use CultureGrams for country research as preparation for working on their own.

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CultureGrams Scavenger Hunt via ProQuest

Check it out by clicking here. Enjoy!

SIRS Discoverer: Celebrate the Constitution

We celebrate the U.S. Constitution each year during the week of September 17, in honor of its signing on September 17, 1787. The Constitution’s significance on U.S. government and laws is momentous and central to our rights and responsibilities as citizens.

Do today’s young students understand the importance of the U.S. Constitution? Do they know where and when it was written? Can they name a few of its creators and signers? Can they name and define any of the constitutional amendments? Would they understand how the Constitution and its amendments impact our daily lives?

In honor of Constitution Week, SIRS Discoverer’s September Spotlight of the Month highlights the product’s constitutional content and provides students an easy way to research the Constitution and its amendments. Perhaps you and your students could celebrate Constitution Week with a fun research assignment. There are several amendments out of the 27 that seem to be cited most often. How about asking your students to choose one and learn more about it?

By Constitutional Convention [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Constitutional Convention [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The 1st amendment establishes our right to freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion. What does this mean for us? We can worship as we choose, we can express new and different ideas with no repercussions, and news outlets can report on what is happening in our country and our world. Question: Before the Revolutionary War, did colonial America have freedom of the press?

The 2nd amendment, which protects the right to own guns and use them for self-defense, may be the most debated of all of the constitutional amendments. Question: Where did the concept of “the right to bear arms” originate?

Following the Civil War, the 14th amendment was ratified. It legally protects the citizenship rights all Americans, regardless of race, and details those who are entitled to U.S. citizenship. Question: What “codes” did some Southern states create in response to the 14th amendment?

The 15th amendment guarantees people of all races the right to vote. It was the third and last of the Reconstruction Amendments, which were adopted after the Civil War. Question: What state first ratified the 15th amendment?

The 19th amendment gives women the right to vote. Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, leaders of the women’s suffrage movement, helped to draft the amendment. Question: What two women pioneered the women’s suffrage movement by organizing a meeting in Seneca Falls?

Visit SIRS Discoverer during the month of September. Your students will definitely learn some facts about the Constitution. Who knows, you may learn something, too!

CultureGrams Activity: Create Your Own Flag

Students of all ages love creative projects where they can use their imaginations to create something that is both fun to make and is a reflection of their personalities. So if you’d like to find a creative educational project for your class, we have just the thing for you. This activity from our CultureGrams Teaching Activities PDF provides an opportunity for students to learn about national flags and how they represent a country’s culture and values. Students will also have a chance to draw upon what they learn in studying national flags to create flags that represent their own values, interests, and culture.

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Flag of Antigua and Barbuda via CultureGrams

Flag Creation

Objective Students will discuss the symbolism and meaning of various national flags and then create flags to represent themselves.

Grade level K–5

Time requirement

Preparation: 40 minutes

In-class: 50 hours

Materials

  • Art materials—construction paper, scissors, glue, pens, etc.
  • Various international flags (all are available in the CultureGrams Flag Gallery)

Instructions

  1. Introduce the concept of flags as works of art that use color, design, and symbols to convey meaning.
  2. Show students the international flags you have selected and explain the symbols used on them. (If you have a subscription to CultureGrams, each country’s flag image and interpretation is available on its landing page.) For example, in the flag of South Africa, the colors symbolize the unity of the nation’s races. In the flag of the United Kingdom, the crosses represent England, Scotland, and Ireland. In the flag of Greece, the cross symbolizes the Greek Orthodox Church.
  3. Assign students to create a unique flag representing themselves, their family, or their city, state, or country of birth. Encourage them to find colors and symbols that stand for something important to them.
  4. Have students display their flags for the class and explain their use of color, symbolism, and design

CultureGrams has a Flag Gallery for both the World and Kids editions as well as for the States and Provinces editions. So there are plenty of flags for students to look at as examples.

Monthly Theme — ProQuest History Study Center

HSC1ProQuest History Study Center provides over 500 complete Study Units on major events of world history, bringing together primary sources, multi-media, biographical content, journal articles, maps, and reference.  Included are document-based questions, presidential documents, documents on American history, speeches, documents on British history, and selections from historical newspapers.  One feature, designed to help engage students in historic study, is the “monthly theme.”  Each month, History Study Center provides a theme page on an historical topic of interest.  This theme provides selected text, excerpts, and images, along with active links to key content and sample documents.  Check out this month’s theme, “The American Civil War”, or look at next month’s theme, “Railroads and Transport History”, or any other month of the year.

Learn all about ProQuest History Study Center or any of our extensive ProQuest resource collections by joining the ProQuest Training and Consulting team in a free public webinar.  If you aren’t able to find a class posted for the resource that interests you, contact us and we’ll be happy to make arrangements to meet with you directly.

April Training Webinars Posted

Libraries see surge in e-book demandNow’s a great time to catch up on the important elements of your ProQuest K-12 resources. We’ve posted our April webinars and would like to invite you to join us. Share this information also with some of your key faculty who you know would benefit from greater familiarity with your excellent ProQuest library research and learning tools. Our new public webinar page also expands your view of ProQuest possibilities. Not only may you access training for your K-12 focused resources, but you may also learn more about ProQuest’s full array of research and learning tools. Many of these have potential application in advanced secondary learning environments.

Sign up now for a class of your choice. If you don’t see the resource you’re looking for, contact us and we would be happy to schedule a private webinar with you!

Literature and Discovery

PQLLPoetsA

Learning about famous authors? Looking for images, websites, and criticism about the Medieval Period? Trying to more easily identify the full meaning of major works of literature? You can find all of this plus thousands of full-text works in poetry, prose, and drama in ProQuest Learning: Literature. ProQuest Learning: Literature is just the beginning of literary study material available from ProQuest, but it’s designed to fit very well into secondary literary study.  If your school focuses even more extensively on literature and authors, you may also want to take a step beyond ProQuest Learning: Literature and try ProQuest’s renowned Literature Online resource to expand your students’ literary horizons!

You can learn more about ProQuest Learning: Literature, or any of our other exceptional ProQuest resources, by contacting the ProQuest Training and Consulting Team to arrange a privately scheduled webinar. You can also join us for one of our monthly public webinars on many of our exceptional ProQuest K-12 resources. We’ll answer your questions for you, and provide guidance on how these resources can best fit your needs. See you soon!

Have a Heart! Sunday is Valentine’s Day!

DiscovererValentinesDay

Here’s something simple:  Go to ProQuest SIRS Discoverer and Keyword Search “Valentine’s Day” OR Valentine* — or just run a simple Subject Search for “Valentine’s Day.”  You’ll instantly come up with 60+ newspaper articles, 110+ magazine articles, 30+ reference articles, 100+ images, and over 10 focused websites, all full of focused information about this fun loving holiday.  You can learn Valentine’s trivia and folklore, get Valentine quizzes, learn how Valentine cards are made, trace the history of Valentine’s Day, learn how to craft interesting and creative Valentine’s Day gifts, find short stories about Valentines, and learn about different kinds of treats you might make on Valentine’s Day.  All of this, plus great tools like citations for writing projects, Lexiles to help guide students to materials they can more easily understand, text-to-speech to listen and take notes, or maybe original article PDF documents to see the publisher’s layouts —  all in just a few simple searches.  ProQuest SIRS Discoverer is a great place for kids from elementary through middle school to learn about all kinds of events, people, holidays, or hot topics and issues!

You can learn more about ProQuest SIRS Discoverer, or any of our other exceptional ProQuest resources, by contacting the ProQuest Training and Consulting Team to arrange a privately scheduled webinar. You can also join us for one of our monthly public webinars on many of our exceptional ProQuest K-12 resources. We’ll answer your questions for you, and provide guidance on how these resources can best fit your needs. See you soon!

Presidential Election Season — Study Election Issues

Elections 2016 SIRS

If you’re studying elections and their issues, ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher provides some great material. From election finance to legal issues, voting rights to voter fraud, or the effect of wealth on the electoral process, you can find a great deal to both learn and discuss.  Team this up with other major issues such as terrorism, economic policy, and illegal immigration, and you have some very powerful tools and content for research, decision making, and ideas for problem solving.

You can learn more about ProQuest SIRS Issues Researcher, or any of our other exceptional ProQuest resources, by contacting the ProQuest Training and Consulting Team to arrange a privately scheduled webinar. You can also join us for one of our monthly public webinars on many of our exceptional ProQuest K-12 resources. We’ll answer your questions for you, and provide guidance on how these resources can best fit your needs. See you soon!

What’s the Latest?

Schools Training Page

“What’s the Latest?” is a big question, actually.  In the research database world, everything is dynamic and constantly changing and updating.  In 2015, ProQuest SIRS Discoverer was all new.  ProQuest CultureGrams also received new looks — twice during the year — once over the summer, and again last month in December.  Content is continually being updated as well.  Most recently, we moved our “offices” — online, that is.  You have a new place to log into your ProQuest K-12 resources, and the training team has a new place for you to go to join us for training.  Sounds like a great time to get to know your resources even better!

Contact the ProQuest Training and Consulting Team to learn all about what’s new and what’s so important about your ProQuest resources. You can contact us directly to arrange a free meeting or join us in one of our public webinars, as noted above. We’re happy to answer your questions and help you get a great start to the second half of this academic year!